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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Index of Good Governance

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that such organizations as Asli create Index of Good Governance (IGG) by independent assessments of the various aspects of governance in Malaysia. The index must be accepted internationally.

On 18.2.2012, Dr Tan spoke on the Demand for Good Governance at the Conference on the Malaysian Chinese at the Political Crossroads, jointly organized by INSAP and Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute.

'Malaysia's Changing Political Lndscape--Demand for Good Governance and Civil Society.'

The fact that I am able to speak to you at the Berjaya Square Hotel today is a sign of Malaysia's changing political landscape especially after 2008. The change goes on relentlessly.

All races in Malaysia are at political crossroads, not just the Chinese. All Malaysians must keep up with the changes for the better.

I thought I could come to this conference away from the pettifogging business of day-to-day politics, with the hustle and bustle, the vanities and the intrigues. Alas, this is not the case.

Datuk Chua Soi Lek and Datuk Seri Najib spent over 30 minutes and about 45 minutes respectively. They had about 80 minutes sending broadsides against Pakatan Rakyat. I am only given 10 minutes to talk on good governance and civil society.

They stressed on how good Barisan Nasional has been. On 8.3.2012, BN won 140 parliamentary seats with 49% of the total votes, whereas PR obtained 82 seats with 51% of the votes. In the coming general elections, the people will decide.

Incidentally, over 2000 years ago, Greek philosophers like Plato and his student Aristotle tried to introduce justice and ethics to deal with the poor administration. In China, Confucius, Mo zi (opposite to Confucius) and Han Fei-zi (whose rule of laws was adopted by Emperor Qin Shi Wang) and others came up with their ideas to promote good governance. Now, we face similar problems.

For thousands of years, the cultural values of Chinese include respect, magnanimity, spirit of peace and feeling of shame( if a person does wrong).

The cry for civil society is shown by the support for Non-Governmental Organizations such as Bersih that reflects the burning concern of citizens for a fair and just elections. We should encourage citizens to take up issues for the good of society. We hope that all NGOs really care for the country.

The demand for good governance is increasing, signifying a phenomenon of the political change. People want the administration to be efficient, transparent and accountable with universal values.

In June, 2010, YAB Najib encouraged individuals, organizations and various sectors to absorb the culture of integrity. This includes good governance. The Prime Minister should lead by example, practising good governance and showing integrity.

His1 Malaysia, transformation programmes and key result areas including 1 Care and 1 Foreign Workers should truly be seen to imbue good governance. The result should be as good as the propaganda.

As Asli is promoting a better society, it can create Index of Good Governance to measure the level of good governance. When the index is not good, we have to make sure that nobody can stop it from being published.

Transparency International assesses Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) on 183 countries. In 2011, New Zealand was the cleanest with 10 points whereas Malaysia was 60, Thailand 80 and Indonesia 100.

We propose that there is a comprehensive review of all forms of subsidy in this country. For instance, in 2010 fuel subsidy was RM11 billion and in 2011 it was RM18 billion. It is essential to study the wastage and the irregularities in the multibillion subsidies and the ways to overcome them.

Tan Seng Giaw